THIS IS SPARTA: HOW TO SURVIVE THE WORLD’S MOST BRUTAL RACE

Even the most seasoned triathlete will falter in an obstacle course as brutal as the Spartan Race without ample preparation.

Across rugged terrain stretching three to over 13 miles, the Spartan Race sends contenders plowing through a series of 20 to 30 grueling challenges including mud, fire, and barbed wire to push mind and body past the limit. For every hardened Spartan, the race is no mere event; it is a way of life.

“Spartan Race is 50 percent physical and 50 percent mental—physical training is going to get you there, but it’s designed to test you mentally,” shared Michael Reyes, Director of Spartan Race Philippines. “So keep an open mind, push yourself hard and know that we are not creating something impossible. We’re doing something that anyone can do. It will be hard but know that you can do it,” he added.

Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge S2 (1)

Discipline on top of determination will be essential to reach the finish line in one piece. With the first-ever Reebok Spartan Race in the Philippines happening this September 16 at the Timberland grounds in San Mateo, Rizal, here are a few expert tips for Filipino Spartan hopefuls who want to conquer one of the most formidable obstacle courses on the planet.

Be ready for anything

Personal trainer Kristin Rooke of BuiltLean warns Spartan Race newbies to get ready for anything since race coordinators don’t release the course map until the event itself. With every race a surprise, would-be participants must build endurance, speed, as well as upper and lower body strength so they can prepare for any obstacle.

Fitness First Philippines, the official fitness partner of Spartan Race Philippines, offers a 45-minute Spartan SGX program to help Filipino hopefuls overcome the race. Headed by elite SGX coaches, each session trains participants in a range of movements—from sprints and squats to lifts and lunges—to prepare against any imaginable hurdle while improving physical performance.

Burpees, burpees, burpees

Surviving each obstacle is one thing; surviving the penalties for failure is another. Obstacle racing documentary Rise of the Sufferfests director Scott Keneally recounts the pain of having to do 30 burpees for every failed challenge, which made him quit the race midway.

Rooke reiterates the importance of the burpee and urges Spartan Race contenders to include this much-maligned workout in training routines, in case they fail or skip an obstacle.

Eating right

Proper diet is fundamental to overcoming the Spartan Race. Eating like a Spartan is an entire philosophy that prescribes pH-balanced, primarily plant-based meals with whole ingredients that consider seasonality, availability, sustainability, and affordability, along with nutrient density, taste, and impact on the environment.

To succeed in an obstacle race where upper-body strength is crucial, Torey Armul of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also recommends plenty of carbohydrates that can fuel large muscle groups. Similarly, dietician Natalie Rizzo suggests extra protein during strength training, as well as chicken or chocolate milk after workouts to beef up the upper body.

Inspiration for Filipino Spartans

Rigorous training and proper diet are only part of the equation to a successful Spartan Race. For the resolve to take on and complete the arduous run, inspiration is critical.

American sports competition series Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge delivers motivation with Spartan Race-inspired obstacles that only the strongest, fastest, and most united teams can surpass for the grand prize of $250,000. Catch the premiere of Season 2 on September 2, Saturday at 9:35PM, first and exclusive on RTL CBS Extreme.

RTL CBS Extreme is available on SKYcable HD channel 209, Destiny Cable Digital channel 104, and Cablelink HD channel 310.

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